Since we learned all about pumpkins in the last blog, I figured, why not throw in a sweet treat to top it off. As I was looking through recipes & ideas about how to make pumpkin bread, I kept coming across the same ingredient that I knew I wouldn’t be able to find in any market around here, canned pumpkin puree. So, I did a little research and it turns out that homemade pumpkin puree is pretty easy to make in your very own oven. Lucky for us, now we can enjoy pumpkin bread this holiday season too!
**Note: The pumpkins in the above photo are just for a fun decoration; they cannot be used to make the puree. :)
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup homemade pumpkin puree (recipe below: you’ll need two smallish pumpkins and 45 minutes to roast in the oven)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (you can also use vegetable, coconut, and so on…)
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
10 lightly crushed walnuts (optional)
**Note: I cut both the white & brown sugars down a bit because we aren’t really ‘sweet’ lovers, but the original recipe called for 1 cup white sugar and 1/2 brown.
Start with the pumpkin puree:
For this pumpkin bread, I used butternut pumpkin to make the puree (what I could find in the Spanish markets around here), but feel free to use any two smallish-sized pumpkins. Now, cut your pumpkins in half, scoop out the seeds and strings and cut in half again. Lay pumpkins skin-side down on a baking sheet (no need to oil or butter the pan) and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the flesh is fork tender.
Once that is done, let the pumpkins cool a bit (not too much as it’s easier to remove the skin when warm). Remove the skins and add all the beautifully roasted pumpkin flesh to a bowl or food processor. If you have a food processor, run it through a bit at a time. I have an emulsifier and figured it would do the trick. I just added all the cooked pumpkin to a bowl and passed it through the emulsifier until it was nice and smooth. Either way works! Now that your main ingredient is ready, on to the pumpkin bread!
**Note: Depending on your pumpkin size, you may find yourself with extra pumpkin puree. Not to worry, it lasts up to a year in the freezer! You may even get a second batch of pumpkin bread out of it!!
Before you begin:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees & butter or oil your 9×5 loaf pan.
In a large bowl:
Wisk all dry ingredients together: brown & white sugars, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Make a ‘crater’ in the middle of your dry ingredients and add eggs, olive oil, water, vanilla, and of course, the pumpkin puree into the crater.
Whisk all ingredients together starting from the middle and working your way out. It may sound like a funny technique, but it really makes it easier to blend everything together. Mix until all lumps are gone and pour into loaf pan. **If you want to add the optional walnuts, fold them lightly into the batter before you pour it into loaf pan.
In the oven:
Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 55 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick stuck down in the middle of the bread comes out clean.
A slice of this delicious pumpkin bread accompanied by a homemade caffè latte. Can a morning get any better?! Enjoy! By the way, don’t you love these fancy dishes? They were a housewarming gift from Mamá Matilde when we finally moved into our new house! She’s so sweet!